The Opening Bell: Where currencies start on Wednesday, April 19, 2017

By Dan Bell

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7037 (mid-rate) this morning.

Once again geopolitical news has dominated markets after UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced a snap general election for June 8. The GBP which initially plunged on the announcement has since surged higher and is the strongest performing currency over the past 24hrs. With the FTSE 100 leading the way (closing down 2.46%) global equity markets have turned negative.

This morning’s global dairy trade auction (GDT) has seen the price index rise for the third consecutive time increasing by 3.1% with average prices of $3,139. Whole milk power increased by 3.5% to $2,998 a tonne, while skim milk power and butter prices were standout performers increasing by 7.1% and 6.0% respectively from the previous auction a fortnight ago.

This morning’s US housing starts data release put further downward pressure on the dollar with the report showing housing starts plunged by 6.8% to an annual rate of 1.215 million in March from an upwardly revised 1.303 million in February. Economists had expected housing starts to fall by 2% to a rate of 1.262 million from the 1.288 million originally reported for the previous month.

European equity markets are broadly lower  – Dow -0.49%, S&P 500 -0.26%, FTSE -2.46%, DAX -0.90%, CAC -1.59%, Nikkei +0.35%, Shanghai -0.79%.

Gold prices are edging higher currently trading at $1,290 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil is slightly lower down 0.2% trading at $52.53 a barrel.

Current indicative rates:

NZDUSD      0.7037       0.5%
NZDEUR      0.6561      -0.3%
NZDGBP      0.5477      -1.7%
NZDJPY        76.38        0.0%
NZDAUD      0.9311       0.9%
NZDCAD      0.9425       1.1%
GBPNZD      1.8258       1.7%


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Dan Bell is the senior currency strategist at HiFX in Auckland. You can contact him here »

Daily exchange rates

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return 0;
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